RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Digital Fuel Retail Survey. In 2018, Accenture conducted its first global survey to understand how fuel retailers are using digital technologies.
  • Scope. We also sought to understand what the 80 plus respondents believe are the benefits and barriers to adopting digital technologies.
  • Five trends. We depict where companies are on their journey to becoming a digital fuel retailer—and what they can do to speed it up.


What is the next stage of the journey for fuel retailers? Fuel retailers will always want to improve margins, but other considerations are gaining ground and disrupting the market. They need to not only understand the nature of that disruption but the fact that it is coming fast.

Fuel retailers are particularly concerned about the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) on their business over the next few years as well as changing consumer habits. They understand that without making some changes to their business, they could lose their competitive edge.

Our survey shows that the road ahead is well sign-posted for fuel retailers. What is imperative is that they read the signs, take swift action and do not make a wrong turn.

Only 42 percent of the companies surveyed rate themselves mature or semi mature as a digital business.
This infographic highlights the key takeaways of this survey including five trends depicting where companies are on their journey to becoming a digital fuel retailer and what they can do to speed it up.

View the infographic

Explore our trends

Five trends depict where fuel retail companies are on their digital transformation journey and what they can do to speed it up.

  1. Disruption is accelerating: today’s challenges around margins and competition is being complicated by the rise of EV’s and changing consumer behaviors
  2. Commitments to digital investments: investments will increase significantly to better engage with customers and improve services
  3. Analytics enhances performance: digital brings advantages—analytics in particular drives performance improvements
  4. Digital maturity is the goal: investments in skills training, automation and partnerships are essential to realize digital aspirations
  5. Better foundations needed to realize digital value: will better address gaps in performance and drive business model maturity
Examples of disruptions in fuel retail include customers will no longer need to buy fuel, will no longer own and maintain a car; connected cars will enable er services and we will most likely see an exponential competitive consumer market.

Future-proofing the fuel retail business

So, what does the road ahead look like for fuel retailers? A disruption is coming in mobility which will necessitate fuel retailers to speed up their digital journey.

Today, fuel retail is a business where companies directly interact with the customer and receive payments from them. Tomorrow, these consumers might not be coming to their fuels site at all. Driving more value out of their current businesses today to free up investment capacity for new businesses and digital investments tomorrow is imperative.

Digital is a key enabler to navigate this change, it can build resilience and cost competitiveness into their business, while making it agile and quick enough to respond to disruptions and changing customer behaviors. Analytics is key—it can help predict trends and analyze customer behavior as well as make the supply chain and infrastructure more resilient and efficient. A focus on digital strategy and digital skills development can also steer the organization toward a more digital foundation.



What's next?

Developing a robust ecosystem of start-ups, partnerships and suppliers to better drive ideas and scale prototypes for new products and services is also essential—49 percent of fuel retailers in our survey state their primary reason for entering into strategic partnerships is to access innovation and new technologies.

Fuel retailers may be at the start of their digital journey—but they know where they are headed. The signs of how to future-proof their business are there, reading them quickly and correctly will ensure future success.

Neale Johnson

Managing Director – Fuel Retail, Europe


Brian Gray

Managing Director – Fuel Retail, North America

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